Salon culture is such a huge part of the Latina experience. Whether you were in the salon every Sunday to get your hair sleek for the upcoming week, or your tia was your at-home hairstylist, salons are known for bringing Latinas together. Some of the best-kept beauty secrets can be found at your local Latina-owned salon. It’s true, just ask Giojé the Owner and Founder of Hair Repair Bar. The proud Dominican beauty followed her mother’s footsteps as a hairdresser, and discovered the secret behind healthy hair – a healthy scalp!
Founder and owner of Hair Repair Bar by Giojé
Located in New York City, the salon’s motto is repairing first, styling second. After spending over 20 years in the hair industry, Gio noticed a huge problem most of her clients had. In opening her hair bar, the beauty entrepreneur introduced hair streaming to her clients to promote scalp health and hair growth. After testing out the treatment, we are true believers in her treatment. Though the treatment has been around for some time, she is reintroducing it with a modern-day experience. Keep reading to find out the beauty benefits behind the hair treatment and Gio’s beauty journey.
HOLA US: What is hair steaming and what are the benefits?
Giojé: Steaming the hair adds moisture for hydration which reduces breakage and increases manageability. The heat opens the hair follicle to cleanse the scalp, remove dandruff, and allows for better absorption of hair treatments.
How often should you do the hair steaming? Do you recommend for all hair types, including natural hair?
Depending on the condition of the hair and scalp, once a week to twice a month. Steaming is beneficial to all hair types. For curly hair, steaming revives the natural elasticity and shape of the curls. Natural hair usually lacks moisture and needs to be steamed at least once a week.
Hair steaming station where clients receive their scalp treatments
Tell me a bit about your hair journey being Dominican, was there ever a moment where you felt like your pelo was malo? Would love for her to speak on pelo malo culture that has changed over the years?
Being Dominican, I had to deal with very curly, frizzy hair which would require relaxers to straighten it. In the Dominican Republic, the culture looked down on curly, frizzy hair types. I had to wrap my hair in a bun at night to go to bed and used rollers to dry my hair naturally and protect it from the heat. The hair culture has been slow to change. We are still straightening our hair, using rollers and conditioning once a week.
How did you embrace your own hair and roots?
I moved to New York City in 1996 and had a short cut with an afro. In New York, I felt that you can be who you are without being judged. I wore it proudly for many years.
The organic hair shampoo bar where clients get their personalized cleansing session
Being Latina, how has your culture helped you succeed in the beauty industry?
Because I had to get comfortable working with coarser hair, it was easier for me to work with more manageable hair types like straight or wavy.
With your hairline, what the best-selling product at the moment?
The Keratin Protein Mask, $25 is the best-selling product because it has the most natural keratin which supports stronger, fuller, shinier, and healthier hair. My clients tell me all the time.
Keratin Protein Mask, $25
What has been the most requested hair treatment at the salon?
Scalp treatments are the most requested because of dry, itchy scalp or hair loss. We have two best-sellers, which are the Renew Scalp Therapy for hair loss and the Cleanse Scalp Therapy for Excess Oil.
Here at HOLA!, we believe in highlighting those breaking boundaries and creating change in the beauty industry. History shows Latinas that we were and still are pioneers when it comes to the business of belleza, which is why we’re spotlighting them with our weekly segment of #HOLAGlamGetters. They’re born beauty entrepreneurs, unapologetic and fabulous. They’ve used their passion for beauty to fuel their journey to success. But, ever wonder how they got there? In a world where one’s highlight reel is on replay only showcasing the glitz and glam of creating a business, we’re keeping it real with our glam-star.